Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton hopes that the McLaren competitiveness that was prevalent in his stint will return in 2018. He hopes that they will be able to compete among the leading group in 2018, having ditched Honda power for Renault. Hamilton was guided by McLaren in his junior career and raced for the team in Formula 1 from 2007 to 2012. He took the 2008 title and moved to Mercedes for 2013.
Hamilton took 41 wins and three championships in his five years at Mercedes, while on the other end of the scale, McLaren struggled. The Woking squad has failed to take a victory since his departure and its plight was accentuated by recent Honda struggles. Now, McLaren has abandoned its Honda collaboration in order to link up with Renault for 2018. The Renault engines powered Red Bull to three wins and third place in the Constructors’ Championship in 2017.
Hamilton is optimistic that he can fight with his former team and teammate Fernando Alonso, at the sharp end of the pack in 2018. He said, “I had a great battle with Fernando towards the end of the season [in Mexico]. I would love to have more battles with him on a much more level playground, as I think they’ve had such a difficult time. Being that I grew up with McLaren from 13 [years old], I go through qualifying and I always look to see where Fernando is and I always look to see where they are, and watching their progress. There’s just a natural place in my heart for them because I achieved a huge amount with them.
Lewis hopes that next year is a successful year for McLaren and that they will battle with them as McLaren deserves to be at the front. He said that they are a fantastic team with incredible history. Lewis is proud of what Ron Dennis did with them. To Lewis, no matter who takes over, it was always Ron’s team. He hopes that the new Renault power unit will propel them up the grid alongside Mercedes and the other top guns. McLaren finished ninth in this year’s Constructors’ Championship, with a best race result of sixth. Will 2018 be the return of the McLaren competitiveness?